Roadkill.

This was the coolest way that I’ve almost died, hands down. I was terrified, electrified, the most alive I’ve ever been and went through the biggest adrenaline rush I will ever experience.

In the summer of 2011 one of my best friends Jason and an old friend Ethan took a road trip out of Banff. Isn’t it the best when a drunken plan made in McDonald’s while eating disgusting burgers becomes a reality? Well, it was.

We went with the intention to drink, every single day. All we wanted to do was get drunk as shit in another city, we were bored of Winnipeg!

We had the most fun on this trip, it was such a good experience to go out with friends and just be with them all the time. Everything was dandy up until we went exploring one day, Jason and Ethan were on bikes and I was on my longboard.

We were cruising around town one morning and going down little hills, which was so much fun. We cruised down Main street just out of town over the creek a bit, if you went right you’d end up on the highway, but if you went left there was a nice hill going down to the parking lot of the golf course. Guess which one we took?

Jason was the only one that actually remembered the layout of Banff well because of how often he had visited. So he was the only one that was familiar with the hill, for the most part anyway.

I started cruising down the hill only hitting about 30 kmh (I know it sounds fast, but on a longboard that’s actually a very comfortable speed) with Jason and Ethan trailing me. All of a sudden, this hill goes from a nice gradual slope to a vertical wall.

“Well, fuck.” I thought. “I’m going to die.”

I only had four options. Option one, go straight into the back of a car, lose my balance and die. Option two, turn right, hit a guard rail, flip 15 times into a tree and die. Option three, go left, hit a guard rail, flip 1300 times, land on jagged rocks in the creek and die. Option four, pass cars and keep attempting not to get speed wobbles which would result in me eating shit and maybe dying.

After going through these options in my head (way too fast, I didn’t have a lot of time) I decided to go with option four. The speed limit on this hill was 60, I was passing cars. So it’s safe to say (the only safe thing about this story) that I was going way too fast. I knew that if I fell I’d be given a Guiness World Record for being the first person to lose ever square centimetre of their skin due to road rash. The thing that blew my mind (mostly because I realized that I had time to think about this, then tell myself to focus on what’s going on) was how delicate a longboard gets at such high speeds. Any shift of even a gram of your weight would send you off into a different direction. Thankfully I’ve been snowboarding and longboarding for years and knew how to stand and shift my weight properly.

Once I got to the final stretch of this hill I noticed that there was a very large parking lot that I’d be able to slow down in and get off this fun little death machine. Except there was a problem. There was a large bus unloading tourists that flooded the parking lot, but there was also a 90 degree turn I could take to go around the parking lot.

I chose to make the turn, I’d much rather injure myself than other innocent people that didn’t see my flying in like a bat out of hell. As I mentally prepare myself for this turn, all these thoughts went through my head.

“What if I die?” was the most prominent thought.

I tried not to think about this because I had to take the turn. My board started to slide out (which wasn’t supposed to happen because of my grippy wheels) which honestly scared the fuck out of me. Another thing that scared the fuck out of me was seeing a GMC Denali coming around a corner right in my direction.

I came within 8 inches of clipping that SUV’s mirror. I was going so fast down this hill that Jason and Ethan were a minute and a half behind me on their bikes.

That was the most fun moment of my life even though I was way too close to dying.

Scope out your path first, kids.

Roadkill.

Bender.

This incident happened when I was very young, I don’t remember exactly. All I know is that it happened the first year I learned how to snowboard.

I wasn’t comfortable at all on a board yet, despite skateboarding for numerous years prior to stepping on a snowboard. It felt so weird to be strapped in to this speedy piece of laminated wood.

I was by myself when this happened (of course) so no one was there to help me when my life almost ended. I was just cruising along when I noticed a small jump that I decided to go off of. I don’t know what possessed me into thinking this was a good idea, but apparently it was.

As soon as my board left the lip of the jump, I was upside down. Only able to see the bright blue sky, I was completely oblivious to my surroundings and how far away I was from the ground.

“I hope I don’t break my neck” was all I was thinking at the moment. I didn’t break my neck, I broke my back instead.

I landed straight on my head and folded in half. Folded to the point where i got a cut on my forehead from my snowboard hitting it, of course my helmet cut off right before the spot that I got cut.

Once I stopped panicking and actually assessed my situation, I noticed I was still alive, which was a great start. As soon as I sat up I noticed how much pain I was really in, something was really wrong with my back.

Over the next few days I had a lot of trouble walking, sitting, sleeping, breathing, coughing and doing almost everything else, so I finally decided a hospital was a good idea.

The doctor told me that I was lucky and only had a few fractured vertebrae and should stay off my feet for a while.

Know your limits, don’t fold yourself like a piece of paper.

Bender.

Brain Bucket.

A couple years back I was snowboarding at our local hill, Stony Mountain. My friends are a lot better than I am, so they were helping me push my limits to become a better rider.

I was getting out of my comfort zone so I told them to hold on because I was going to go grab my helmet.

Naturally, we were all a couple beers deep (who wants to ride snowboards sober?) so that helped me be a little more confident. The beers might have been a bad idea.

All I can say is, thank fucking god for that helmet.

When I went down to do a new trick I’ve never done before (frontside blunt slide with a two-seventy out) my board got caught and I hit my head the hardest I’ve ever hit it.

Apparently I passed out, but clearly I don’t remember that. I got up and my level of confusion was unfathomable. I took my helmet off to check out if there was a scratch on it and make sure it was okay. There wasn’t a scratch, there was a giant hole in it.

If I wasn’t wearing my helmet that giant hole would have been in my skull and all the snow around me would have been stained with my blood and brains.

Always wear your helmet, kids.

Brain Bucket.

Throat Surgery.

A couple years ago I needed my tonsils removed, so I set up an appointment to get those things checked out.

I was getting strep throat almost two times per month and was not down with that what so ever. Turns out, that was happening because of some sort of gnarly infection in my throat, so there had to be more tissue removed along with my tonsils.

My recovery was the worst thing ever. I was given these pills that were equivalent to like, 3 T3s each. They just turned me into a zombie when I took them. I was supposed to be taking them with food, but due to the surgery I couldn’t even swallow my own spit.

I became a vegetable. I couldn’t eat, drink or swallow anything. Taking the pills was the most painful thing imaginable. Since those pills were the only thing that I was ingesting for a number of days, I somehow became addicted to them throughout the course of my recovery, which was fantastic. So not only am I unable to eat anything, but now I’m hooked on pain medication.

About 3 days after being a zombie on my basement couch, my parents came down to check on me and found me unable to respond to anything, unable to stand and extremely incoherent. They rushed me to the hospital and I was hooked up to an IV drip instantly.

The doctors said I was malnourished and starving. They also said if I waited another day, I would have died from all the pills and lack of food.

Because of this, I don’t take any medication anymore.

Throat Surgery.

The Bus Crash.

This is one of the first times I think back to and think, “I should have died”.

I was in grade 8 on a school trip to Giant’s Ridge in Minnesota, this happened on the way home. There was a logging truck that crashed and it left logs littered on the highway. OF COURSE, our bus hits one. I was sitting at the very back bench when our bus hit the log. It hit the log so hard that I was ejected out of my seat and my head went through the vent and speaker on the roof.

I’ve never had a concussion before, but i’m almost certain that was my first one. I had a couple cuts on my head and face, but I feel like that one should have been a lot worse.

I was the only one to get hurt from this, which is no surprise.

Hopefully there’s no more torrential crashes in my future, but hey, I should be dead.

The Bus Crash.